Filling the gap of whip spider distribution in Asia: Phrynichus persicus sp n. (Arachnida, Amblypygi), a new Phrynichidae from Iran

The whip spider genus Phrynichus (Phrynichidae, Amblypygi) is widely distributed in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and Asia with a total of 17 species. No records, however, are known from several countries in the Middle East. Here we provide the first record of a whip spider from Iran (Ilam Province), with the description and illustration of a new species, Phrynichus persicus sp. n. This discovery fills a gap in the distribution of the group that is known from both sides of this biogeographically interesting region and is also the northernmost record of the family Phrynichidae. Moreover, all distribution records of the Phrynichus species are mapped (including the first verified record of the order from the United Arab Emirates), an updated key to the species of the deflersi and ceylonicus groups is provided, and Phrynichus andhraensis Bastawade, Rao, Maqsood Javed and Krishna, 2005 (India) is assigned to the ceylonicus group.